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Unveiling Hidden Gems: Lesser-Known Benefits of Private Health Insurance

Unveiling Hidden Gems: Lesser-Known Benefits of Private Health Insurance
Private health insurance gives you the peace of mind that if you get sick, or suffer an injury, you won’t have the stress of long NHS waiting lists, or high costs for medical care. Having private medical insurance gives you access to private care and treatment, with added benefits such as having a say over where you receive treatment, outpatient care, and the option to take out a plan that covers your whole family.
For many, this is reason enough to buy private medical insurance (PMI) with one in eight people in the UK using private healthcare for themselves or someone in their family in the last year [1]. However, did you know there are additional benefits to PMI? In this article you’ll find 7 lesser known benefits of taking out a private healthcare plan. 

Access to private facilities

Depending on your level of your health insurance cover, you get some say on where you receive treatment. Not only can you choose from NHS hospitals, you also have the option of accessing private hospitals or medical facilities where you can recover in the comfort of a private room.

Access to medication and treatment not available on the NHS

When it comes to treatment on the NHS, you may have limited options due to waiting lists, the cost of some treatments over others, or even where you live. With private health insurance, these things aren’t a factor, giving you access to a wider range of treatment, including specialist drugs and services, and innovative new medication.

Mental health care

Getting ill isn’t just physical and private health insurance companies recognise this, with many including mental health treatments as part of your plan. With this addition to your health insurance you receive cover for mental health related appointments and therapy sessions. Remember to check the individual terms of each policy.

Physiotherapy

Another service you may not realise some health insurance policies include is physiotherapy. With a referral from a GP, you can work with a physiotherapist to develop a personal treatment plan that is bespoke to you. Some insurance companies also offer services from chiropractors and osteopaths as part of your plan.

Dental care

When looking at health insurance, you may not be thinking about dental care, but actually, dental care can be extremely expensive and not always available through the NHS. Thankfully, many private medical insurance policies include dental care as part of the cover they offer or as an optional customisation to your insurance plan. 

Cancer care

One in two people will get cancer at some point in their lifetime [2]. With statistics like this, you may expect cancer to be an exclusion of private health insurance but the opposite is true. Most PMI companies include cancer care as part of their core cover. With private healthcare insurance, if you do develop cancer, you can avoid lengthy wait times, opt for specialist care centres, and access new, breakthrough drugs before they are available on the NHS.

Online appointments

In addition to having choice over where your treatment takes place, having private health insurance gives you access to 24/7 online appointments with a GP. Online video consultations mean you don’t have to leave your home and can access appointments outside of the usual surgery hours. This service reduces wait time and provides extra care if you’re high risk, as a doctor can check you over quickly and refer you on for specialist support.

Tax benefits

If you run a small business or are the director of your own company, taking out private health insurance for you and your employees may offer some tax benefits, as it is considered a legitimate expense. As a business owner, offering private medical insurance to your employees also has benefits as it reduces sick leave due to long waiting lists for treatment. You know that with PMI, your employees have access to the best treatment quickly, making sure they return to work as soon as possible.

Discounts and perks

In addition to all the benefits mentioned, your private health insurance may include other perks and discounts on healthy lifestyle related products and services outlined by each individual insurer. This might include gym membership, discounts on food and drink and money off health supplements. These will vary from insurer to insurer.

Saving money with a joint plan

You’ll find a number of options when it comes to choosing your private health insurance, depending on whether you want a basic level of cover or a more premium option. You can also customise your plan to include elements that suit you specifically. If you’re looking at taking out health insurance for someone in addition to you, you might be able to save money with a joint policy. Joint policies include options for you and a spouse or partner, or cover for the whole of your family. Premiums and conditions vary according to the insurance company you opt for so make sure you shop around for a deal that suits you.

Reasons to take out private health insurance

Private health insurance gives you peace of mind that if you or anyone in your family falls ill or becomes injured, you can access the appropriate care and treatment without long waiting lists and huge costs. Depending on the cover you choose, you can expect benefits like online appointments, choosing where you receive treatment (including the comfort of a private facility) and treatment that isn’t available on the NHS. You may also receive additional medical support including physiotherapy, dental treatment, cancer care and support from mental health services. Insurance policies and what insurers include vary, so make sure you do your research on individual companies and policies to decide which is best for you and your needs.

Article sources

  1. YouGov. “One in Eight Britons Turned to Private Healthcare in the Last 12 Months, https://yougov.co.uk/health/articles/45568-one-eight-britons-turned-private-healthcare-last-1.” Accessed November 2023.
  1. NHS. “Overview: Cancer, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cancer/. Accessed November 2023.
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